Thursday Jun 30, 2022
Thursday Jun 30, 2022

Mahashivaratri Preparation & Security: “Airtight”

The Pashupatinath Temple shall see the nation's finest security personnel deployed to maintain peace and order in a rather rambunctious festival filled with fervour and throngs of devotees


Nepalnews
2022 Mar 01, 7:36, Kathmandu
A night view of the Pashupatinath Temple which is located in Kathmandu.

As the nation today revels in the annual Mahashivaratri celebrations, security forces, volunteers and related agencies alike gear up for the massive logistical feat that lay ahead of them. This auspicious day is marked on the Hindu calendar as the day Lord Shiva (revered as the God of Gods) married Goddess Parvati which sees Hindu devotees from all around the world converge at Pashupatinath, a tremendously holy abode for Lord Shiva worshippers. Studying previous trends, the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), the body that oversees the maintenance and overall day-to-day operation of the Pashupati area, expects an approximate 500,000 to 1.000,000 devotees to pay pilgrimage to the Pashupatinath premises today.

Pashupatinath temple reopens from September 10, 2021, which was closed for four and a half months to devotees in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Prasan Gurung/Nepalnews
Pashupatinath temple reopens from September 10, 2021, which was closed for four and a half months to devotees in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Prasan Gurung/Nepalnews

                  On special orders from Bal Krishna Khand, the Home Minister who himself          sat in the cabinet meetings, the security during the day and night proceedings have been given priority. We're working in close coalition with the Police, the Military, Scouts and volunteer organizations to see this event run as smoothly as possible.” says Rewati Raman Ahikari, the official spokesperson of the Pashupati Area Development Committee.


In conversation with NepalNews Adhikari informed us that the PADT were working with The Metropolitan Police, Armed Police Forces and the military amassing a total of 8000-10000 security personnel deployed at any given point throughout the day. The Police have set up Main Command Posts and Sub-Command Posts all across the South to the West roads and entrances with special forces being posted all across the major zones around the Temple premises. Along with the governmental security forces, the PADTV themselves are monitoring the entire event throughout the day and night through the use of CCTV’s spread all across the temple premises.

A Hindu holy man meditates as part of his morning rituals during Shivratri festival in Pashupatinath temple area in Kathmandu, on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Photo: AP via RSS
A Hindu holy man meditates as part of his morning rituals during Shivratri festival in Pashupatinath temple area in Kathmandu, on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Photo: AP via RSS

“The CCTV cameras are there to assist the security personnel and volunteer staff ensure that the days proceedings tomorrow carry on without any hitch and if god-forbid any infraction does occur, the cameras and the staff monitoring 24/7 shall get to the root of the problem immediately” affirms Adhikari.


The scouts along with the volunteer personnel, began setting up the queue ropes and indicators in order to maintain the colossal crowds that are to gather tomorrow since last night. “It is a truly auspicious day, we understand the hustle and bustle is extreme, but we request all pilgrims who visit the Pashupatinath tomorrow to maintain public decency and have respect for your fellow devotee. The decorations and the flowers are all in the name of God, please do not tamper with them or attempt to take them illegally since CCTV cameras and security personnel will be watching closely. Please maintain queues, listen to the volunteers. As for Senior Citizens and the disabled, you do not need to stand in queue, please approach a volunteer nearby and they shall provide you priority access to the Pashupatinath Temple.” concludes Adhikari


The Metropolitan Police

The Metropolitan Police are one of the three entities that are deployed as official security personnel in the Shivaratri Ceremony at Pashupatinath today. Out of the approximate 10,000 personnel deployed, 4472 personnel are deployed from the Metropolitan Police Section.

                “We’ve set up command posts across the Pashupati area to invigilate and                 maintain order in the area. Out of the 4472 personnel 925 are female personnel and the rest are male police officers. Each officer has been categorized into different roles, some are deployed as crowd management officers, some as parking officers, some monitor the CCTV, while some have been deployed in civil disguise to maintain order and discipline in the area.” says Spokesperson of The Metropolitan Police, SP Santosh Sing Rathour.

A Hindu holy man smokes marijuana in Pashupatinath temple area during Shivratri festival in Kathmandu, on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Photo: AP via RSS
A Hindu holy man smokes marijuana in Pashupatinath temple area during Shivratri festival in Kathmandu, on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Photo: AP via RSS

In conversation with Nepal News, Spokesperson SP Rathour describes the level of planning that has gone into the event. “The immediate plan for the vent began weeks ago and the personnel have been briefed continuously for the past 2-3 days. We’ve set up cameras, handheld detectors and metal detectors at the gate to ensure the safety of the devotees.”

As Shivaratri is synonymous to Shiva, Shiva is synonymous to Marijuana. The consumption of the latter spiking along with the use of other drugs during the day of Shivaratri. “We’re very aware of the situation and have deployed undercover personnel in the area for the past couple of days and have been able to stop certain networks already. We want the event to run smoothly hence if we do find such illegal activity on site, these troublemakers shall be arrested and immediately imprisoned in the Baneshwor penitentiary awaiting trial for breaching the drug abuse laws of the country.” SP Rathour concludes.



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Pashupatinath Mahashivaratri Pashuapti Area Development Trust Metropolitan Police security pashupati aarti crowd management
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